Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Running a Car on Hydrogen Made from Water

  1. Nov 5, 2004 #1
    OK I dead serious about this.

    Please check this out:

    http://www.truth777.netfirms.com/Conspiracy/carwater.htm

    So what is wrong with this? Is there anything wrong with this plan?

    Can or will it work??

    If it will not work, can it be fixed? Like what is wrong with it?

    I guess the main questions are: (Assuming it really works!)

    How much Hydrogen and Oxygen will such a system put out? In volume over time, in other words will it make enough (volume) fast enough (time) to fill the needs of a 350 Chevy motor?

    How much would it take to drive a Chevy 350 motor? (Hope some of you know or can find out how much volume of fuel and air a 350 needs.)

    Can you match the output to the needs of the 350? Like would it take one or two or more gas generators to feed the 350, and how much current will it take to run those gas generators?

    And lastly how much water?? Like what will you think the water/gas mileage will be??

    And to figure that out we need to know how much power the mix of Hydrogen and Oxygen this makes will produce in a combustion chamber??

    This looks too damm simple and too damm fantastic, and IF it is one of those nutty ideas that everyone dismissed as being all the above, and really works, HOT DAMM what it would mean, a cheap way to power cars, Hydrogen on demand, no 30,0000 pound storage tanks, no refueling stations, and no explosive fuel on board, only water.

    And a clean exhaust to boot, I believe it’s by product is air and water?

    And yes I know it will make water as a by product and will rust the engine and exhaust system…but if it worked, then special systems like a oiler for the cylinder heads and combustion chambers and stainless steel values and tail pipes will solve most of those problems.

    In my case I plan or running a little gasoline with the system and to shut it off and finish the last mile or so home (or to my stop) with pure gasoline to flush the engine.

    Could the answer be this simple?

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2004 #2
    This would work, except for one big problem. The energy required to split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen is more than the energy you can get by burning the results. In other words, its a net energy loss.
     
  4. Nov 5, 2004 #3
    If this can split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen with the output of a 2 watt transistor and a 555 timer, then it is not taking a lot of power.

    My Van has a 110 watt Alternator on it and the Van does not use all of it, plus I have a spare, so I could hook it up and use 100% of a second alternator, 110 watts of power output…and running that Alternator at full load or output does NOT stop the motor, so the gas 350 is easily able to run the truck and clime a mountain with the alternator running…so with about 10 times what they call for (a 10 to 20 watt) I should be able to do this. And I think some Hydrogen and Oxygen fed into the motor would be as powerful as gas, and with the extra oxygen perhaps even more, so I think it will work.

    I think the Hydrogen and Oxygen when fed into a motor will produce more power than running the twin Alternators will take and still drive the van as well.

    I do not buy into the more energy in than out, other wise gasoline would not work nor a gun or Nitro…

    Come on really check this out, do the math.

    How much will a 350 need and how much will this make?

    Rich
     
  5. Nov 5, 2004 #4

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That link doesn't work. THIS is it.

    In any case, there is no good summary and I'm not going to go through the whole thing to figure it out. The fact that it comes from a conspiracy theory website makes it suspicious. This is the best summary
    Its not clear, but if the site is claiming that you can use a car's alternator to split hydrogen and oxygen from water, then burn the hydrogen and oxygen to power the car and provide the power to split hydrogen and oxygen from water, it is wrong.

    We've already been over why: The reaction is symmetrical and conservation law applies. This is taught in junior high school chemistry.
    Gasoline is fuel ready-to-burn. Water is not. In fact, water is the exhaust from burning hydrogen and oxygen. What you are describing is identical to putting a hose on your car's tailpipe, capturing the exhaust, and turning it back into gasoline.

    Maybe this will help:

    Assume all systems are 100% efficient. Put 1kWh of energy into some water and split some into hydrogen and oxygen. How much energy will you get back when you burn the hydrogen and oxygen you just produced?

    (hint: all the info you need to do this problem is contained in the problem and no calculations are required to find the answer. Apply conservation law.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2004
  6. Nov 5, 2004 #5

    krab

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    You should do the math. And it is way simpler than you make out. Burn hydrogen and get mechanical energy. Why? Because the product (water) is in a lower energy state after burning than the hydrogen and oxygen is before burning. But how did it get that way? Because you took water and separated it into hydrogen and oxygen? How much energy is needed to do this? You guessed it. The same amount as you eventually get back. In fact because engines are like only 30% efficient, it is a losing proposition. Totally.

    This is NOT comparable to burning gasoline. Gasoline is already a fuel. Burn it, and it's done. That's why it's called a NON-renewable resource; you only use it once and then the world has that much less of it.

    So to answer your question in more detail: 100 watts from your alternator is the power equivalent to 0.13 hp. It would need to run for 1000 hours to make enough hydrogen to get 1 hour worth of driving your 350.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.
     
  7. Nov 5, 2004 #6
    OK It may not make enought to run totaly on the output, so how much Hydrogen and Oxygen would this put out and would it burn with the gasoline?

    I am told adding even a little Oxygen to gas will yeald more power, would this not spike the gas?

    Also I forgot to add in the 300 AMP/HOUR Battery as power.

    Rich
     
  8. Nov 5, 2004 #7

    krab

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The ratio of energy out due to hydrogen burning, to the energy in needed to create the hydrogen from water, is less than 1. Therefore, no matter how much or little hydrogen you try to create, it will be a waste of energy. It is a losing proposition.

    Yes, you can add more oxygen to gas and make more power. To get more oxygen density requires compression (turbo or super), or a chemical means (nitrous).

    Your battery has no part in this search for a free lunch, since it can only store energy. Whatever you take out has to be put back in.
     
  9. Nov 5, 2004 #8

    rcgldr

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I read that they could install miniature tritium breeder reactors in cars. That way we could stop at "emptying" stations to take the tritium, which would be used to help maintain our nuclear arsenal. However the oil companies have prevented this. Not only that, but they want to replace our nuclear weapons with petroleum based fuel-air bombs, and even went so far as to have a fuel-air bomb included in the movie Outbreak just to convice people of the power of these bombs.
     
  10. Nov 5, 2004 #9
    Well I am just not convinced.

    So far other than a few quotes of It will not work, more energy need on input that you will get etc just does not seem to work.

    Ever seen a Carbine and water acetylene gererator??

    A few rocks and a little water and bang you got gas with so much pressure it take a strong container to hold it.

    Check out; http://www.energyoptions.com/tech/browns.html

    And;

    http://www.layo.com

    I am reading so many pages on this subject now.

    Do a search, “Running cars on water” and see what you find.

    Check this Out:

    http://www.dynamicfuel.com The seem to be building and selling one….

    I fear we have another bumblebee problem here.

    Rich
     
  11. Nov 5, 2004 #10

    rcgldr

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    http://www.energyoptions.com/tech/browns.html

    This one sounds like a scam. It's just using hydrogen and oxygen as a fuel source. The magical "implosion" that occurs, is the normal reaction when hydrogen and oxygen combine. Water, and steam are denser than hydrogen gas.

    http://www.layo.com

    In this case it's the aluminum that's the fuel source, and you'd have to find a way do dispose of the aluminum oxide that's produced. I don't know if this is cheaper than using conventional fuel.

    http://www.dynamicfuel.com

    This is using jet fuel to produce hydrogen to enhance the power of an engine that is still getting most of it's power from petroleum. This only helps if the power gained versus jet fuel consumed results in an overall lower fuel cost.
     
  12. Nov 5, 2004 #11
    JetFuel is their specialy treated water... I suspect distilled with antifrieeze in it as they say it will not freeze until 45 degrees celsius, I don't think you can use real jet plane fuel to make hydrogen.

    Also note again this gereator uses only 12/14 amps to run, equeal to the cars head lamps.

    Bumblebee again.

    Rich

    PS Science said the Bumblebee could NOT fly, poor thing when ahead and did it anyway....
     
  13. Nov 5, 2004 #12

    rcgldr

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    It's just standard jet fuel, and it's probably easier to get hydrogen from it than it is from water.

    This isn't true. During a lecture, a professor stated that aerodynamics was more complicated than what most students had learned, pointing out that without taking turbulence and non-laminar air flow into account a bumblebee couldn't fly. Some press agent wanting a story started this rumour. However, even at the time, the experts could explain how insects that couldn't glide could still fly if they simply flapped what little wings they had fast enough.

    The other issue is how insects, and some birds (like hummingbirds) can fly without consuming huge amounts of energy. In the case of some insects, the wings are attached to a flexible membrane that uses harmonics to reduce the energy required for flight. In the case of hummingbirds, they just have very efficient and elastic muscles.
     
  14. Nov 5, 2004 #13

    krab

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    It seems to me you are thinking of the electricity generated by your alternator as free energy. It's just not so. The alternator loads your engine, so you use energy to make electricity to break water down into H2 and O2. Under normal running, you never worry about the alternator load. Why? Because even with everything on, headlights, heater, rear defogger, wipers, taillights, etc., it only amounts to a few hundred watts: way less than 1 horsepower. (Remember: 1hp=746watts) Your 350 can produce this amount of power at just above idle.
    There's enough crap on the internet now that you can find tons of web pages to support any cockamamy theory. The trick is to learn what to believe and what not. Why don't you look up some stuff about conservation of energy? Look for web pages written by physicists. It may not be the news you want to hear, but remember, without the physics and engineering that gives you laws like conservation of energy, you wouldn't have the computer you're reading this on. In fact, you wouldn't even have a car.

    An engine that both makes its own fuel out of water and then burns that fuel, converting it back into water, is basically making energy out of nothing. IOW, it is a perpetual motion machine and such machines are impossible. Think it through.
     
  15. Nov 6, 2004 #14

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    racprops, are you reading our arguments at all? This really is junior high school chemistry you're arguing against.

    Also, the fact that that first site is a catch-all conspiracy theory website should have made your crackpot detector ping off the scale.
     
  16. Nov 6, 2004 #15

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    This is all well and good. And I agree hydrogen from water is not free energy. But it is not at all a bad idea. You can use natural, solar powered energy to liberate hydrogen as a portable fuel source: wind mills, solar panels, hydro electric and geothermal, to name a few. These are all well within current technological capabilities. One I find particularly interesting is lightning. A few well placed lightning rods, a few gigawatts of raw energy per stroke, and the right converter design... Crude oil is merely concentrated sunlight. So is water. This is not to say I disagree with the objections of Russ and krab. I just look at it from a different perspective. We better get a lot smarter about managing our energy needs or it will be the death of us all. A hydrogen economy appears to be within our grasp and the brass ring doesn't go around forever.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2004
  17. Nov 6, 2004 #16
    OK One dumb question, how much enengy does it take to make Nitro?

    How much does it take to make Gun Power?

    Something from almost nothing?

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2004
  18. Nov 6, 2004 #17

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It takes no energy input to make gunpowder, because it's already fuel. racprops, you're just not listening here. Read this next part very carefully:

    Water is not fuel, it's ash. Its the waste product that you get from burning hydrogen. What you are talking about is the same as turning ash back into coal or wood.
     
  19. Nov 6, 2004 #18

    cepheid

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sorry, I couldn't be bothered to check out the link or trudge through the thread. I thought that the main issue with using hydrogen as a fuel was where do we get the hydrogen from? For instance, the fuel cell created by the likes of Ballard power takes hydrogen and oxygen, and produces electricity (liberates electrons) in a chemical reaction whose only by product is water. It sounds ideal, as a fuel cell continues to operate so long as it is provided with fuel. However, hydrogen is typically obtained in unclean processes, (from methane etc) that would negate any environmental benefits of switching to fuel cells. One can produce hydrogen from water via electrolysis, but this is just the reverse of what the fuel cell does, so you need the electricity to create the electricity. If that issue is not what the topic was about, apologies.

    Edit: nevermind. krab explains the problem in detail. Your fuel cell produces a bunch of electrical energy from chemical energy. That drives your motor, which converts it to mechanical energy, so some is definitely lost. What little is left goes to driving the car and, recharging the battery if you were using a standard battery. But since we're using a fuel cell, some tiny fraction of that already fractional energy output would have to be converted to electricity and then used to electrolyse the water byproduct to produce hydrogen. Obviously that hydrogen is going to be some tiny fraction of what you started with, so the idea of using the water to put fuel back in the fuel cell within the car is not very practical. In any case, would we really have the energy to spare to make it worth doing so at all? Or would we be better off making it a one way procedure, concentrate on using the energy to propel the vehicle and just replenish the fuel cell at a 'gas' station?

    In the second scenario, Chronos points out some cool ideas for alternate clean generation of H2 outside the car that would break us out of that viscious circle. I hear scientists in Iceland are looking into the geothermal option. They've apparently already capitalized on that benefit of their seismic instability (a natural resource!) to heat their homes, drastically reducing need for non-renewable fossil fuels. I agree that it would be cool if we found the solution that would jump start the hydrogen economy. Right now, no infrastructure for it exists. I also agree that most of that internet stuff is probably garbage :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2004
  20. Nov 6, 2004 #19
    OK I haven't read the whole thread , but there's something all should be aware of. The Petro industry is pushing for a hydrogen based fuel car ...for 1 reason. You STILL have to goto the BP station to refill your tanks.So now petrol is replaced by Hydrogen and the same conglomerates stay in biz.

    Want to see what their not pushing? You would not find it under "Water powered cars" on a google search but It does exist.

    That thing is called a regenerative fuel cell. It takes electricity and water breaks them down and generates electricity and it recombines the O2 and H on the reverse cycle. The elements ( replaceable ) ware out after X-thousands of hours and You occasionally have to plug the car in to charge the batteries, but this particular technology is available now , off the shelf, not woo-woo. The science is in it's infancy, You think Sunoco, BP, Exon want to cut themselves out of the loop??

    Look it up there are desperate sites from Sandia labs, the DOE and other credible sources. I have seen a large suitcase size fuel cell running a mini ceramic turbine for a whole house worth of W/Hs.

    Not woo-woo.
     
  21. Nov 6, 2004 #20
    Ok for the late comers, what I am asking about and being told will not work is a system to break down water into it’s components of Hydrogen and Oxygen and then burn it as a motor fuel in a standard combustion engine like a Chevy 350.

    This is done by a electronic drive system.

    The first system is at:

    http://www.truth777.netfirms.com/Co...cy/carwater.htm

    And there seems to be a Canada Company selling these to truckers as a motor fuel booster at:

    http://www.dynamicfuel.com

    And no, their “JetFuel” is not airplane fuel but special water for their system.

    I am proposing that this system could reduce the use of gasoline in the driving of a car, a booster fuel system.

    They, the Inventers etc. are perhaps unrealistically suggesting the car can run totally on their Generator, and so far I have not seen any real proof it will not.

    That is what all of this is about.

    No one has taken a serious look and said that this generator will not break water into H & O, and no one has said that based on the drawing how much H&O would be made.

    And no one has said that a 350 Chevy Motor will need X amount of gas from the output from this H&O Generator.

    The water would be supplied from a water tank, not as someone (joking) said from the tail pipe.

    One argument has been that the output of a 100 amp (sorry I used watt before) alternator would not run this generator and if done so it would stop the motor/car from the load, or words to that effect.

    Again, why not?

    Rich
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Running a Car on Hydrogen Made from Water
  1. Hydrogen from water. (Replies: 0)

Loading...